In the story of the opioid epidemic, Vicodin addiction has become a large contributor to the current crisis. Accessibility is one of the major reasons Vicodin addiction is so widespread, especially in terms of being overprescribed.
Like many opioids, addiction is created by multiple factors, but is often started by mismanagement of pain medication and not seeking out — or knowing where to find — additional ways to manage pain. Despite the picture people may have about who opioid addicts are, Vicodin addiction can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender and social class.
So, how do you know if you or someone you know has a Vicodin addiction or where to go for treatment? In this post, we’ll walk you through the signs of abuse, addiction and what to expect from Vicodin addiction treatment.
Common Reasons of Vicodin Abuse
Vicodin is commonly abused and usually starts due to a medical issue being treated with pain medication. It can also be difficult to stop using once prescribed.
It’s a brand-name drug, available in pill and liquid form and a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone — the latter being a narcotic that causes Vicodin to be so addictive.
Vicodin is used to treat pain and works by binding to opiate receptors in the brain and causing an increased release of endorphins. Something that can be misunderstood about the opioid is that Vicodin does not relieve pain; it just makes you not care that you are in pain.
Vicodin can become easily abused when patients don’t seek out additional pain management resources.
Another factor in Vicodin addiction, is that some individuals will switch from Vicodin to heroin because they can no longer obtain a prescription legally or afford the medication. Unfortunately, heroin is much cheaper than Vicodin as well as highly addictive and deadly.
Vicodin is also commonly abused by adolescents because it’s easily accessible. Usually, kids can find an old bottle of medication in their parents’ medicine cabinet. Parents may not even notice it missing, but it’s important for all of us to recognize the signs of possible opioid abuse.
Vicodin Addiction Symptoms
The medication is prescribed by a physician and filled at your local pharmacy. Over time, a tolerance to the medication can develop, causing a need for more. The amount required to get the euphoric effect may become more than a physician will prescribe.
This is a sign of addiction.
Getting a doctor to write a Vicodin prescription used to be easy, causing an increase in abuse of the drug. Over the last few years, laws have become stricter, causing it to be more difficult to obtain the drug. If a doctor stops prescribing Vicodin or you do not have insurance to see a doctor and fill a prescription, it can become difficult to maintain this addiction.
Vicodin addiction symptoms may be difficult for friends or family to spot. This is partially because denial prevents us from associating symptoms with drug use.
You may notice symptoms such as:
- Mood swings
- Dilated pupils
- Slurred speech
- Slow heartbeat
- Memory loss
More obvious signs of addiction are associated with a change in behaviors. The addicted individual may become more secretive, you may notice money or items missing from the house, or the individual may disappear for periods of time without explanation. They may also become more defensive and even explosive at times.
Most people cannot tolerate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal without intervention and end up using again. If you have been unable to stop using the substance without experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms, you should enter treatment.
What to Expect from Vicodin Addiction Treatment
Starting treatment for addiction can be frightening. You’re entering the unknown and probably doubt whether you can survive without the drug.
There may even be a portion of you that fears judgement. You can relax — we are not going to judge you for using drugs. We expect you to be using or else you wouldn’t need treatment.
Any treatment center should show you dignity and respect. We understand that addiction is a medical condition. It doesn’t mean that you are a bad person.
Also, expect a lot of questions. The healthcare provider will need to gather an accurate history from you. It’s not to embarrass you, but to ensure appropriate treatment.
When you enter a program for Vicodin addiction, you’ll also start individual counseling immediately. The effectiveness of a medication assisted therapy program depends on your ability to commit 100% to the resources made available to you.
Most people believe that addiction ends when you stop taking the drug, but addiction is rooted deeply in your physical, psychological and emotional state. It’s imperative that your Vicodin addiction treatment is holistic in its approach, so you can get the full benefits in recovery.
Treatment centers are there to help. Let them. It can mean the difference between life and death. Remember, you have tried to quit on your own many times and were unable to do it. Stop trying to do it on your own.
If you or someone you know is in need of Vicodin addiction treatment, contact MedPro Treatment Centers to speak with our on-site medical professionals.